An expansion on Kalahari Resorts and Conventions' convention center at its Wisconsin Dells resort is underway.

Company owners, the Nelson family, and company executives, along with Deputy Secretary Sarah Klavas of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism gathered with more than 100 attendees to break ground on the expansion last fall (2017).

Scheduled to open in September 2019, the convention center expansion will add 112,000 square feet of space to the existing facilities, bringing the convention center footprint to 212,000 square feet. The expansion will include a 52,000-square-foot ballroom, which will join the facility’s existing 20,560-square-foot and 17,200-square-foot ballrooms, as well as 10 additional meeting rooms for a total of 45 meeting rooms.

The resort does not plan to expand its current offering of 756 guest rooms—a decision that is expected to bolster business for other lodging options in the area.

“When we first opened Kalahari, we had to work hard to create an experience where a convention center and indoor waterpark could exist together,” said Travis Nelson, owning family member of Kalahari Resorts and Conventions. “This model has been a splendid success and is now a vital part of any indoor waterpark."

For nearly two decades, the Kalahari Resorts and Conventions teams nationwide have leveraged more than 400 years of combined meeting experience to host more than 22,000 groups, resulting in more than 1.4 million group rooms booked. The expansion to the Dells location will allow the company to meet the current and future projected demands for group rooms in the area.

“We are pleased to support this expansion effort at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in Wisconsin Dells,” said Sarah Klavas, deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.

“The travel and hospitality industry continues to be a top performing sector of our economy and supports more than 193,000 jobs for Wisconsin residents," she added.

The expansion at the Wisconsin Dells resort is the first in the company’s recently announced efforts to enhance the meeting experience at locations nationwide. Plans are in place to more than double the Pocono Mountains’ property convention facilities with groundbreaking scheduled for 2018. Additionally, the announced Round Rock, Texas, offering will feature a 200,000-square-foot convention center when the property opens in 2020.

“We welcome the expansion of Kalahari Resorts and Conventions’ world class convention facilities to our already existing tourism landscape of attractions and accommodations,” said Sarah Hudzinski, director of marketing and communications, Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau. “We firmly believe that Wisconsin Dells is a premier travel destination in the Midwest and are thrilled that more guests will be able to experience our one-of-a-kind offering while visiting the area for conventions and meetings.”